Cluster of Excellence CECAD with an interactive exhibit on MS Wissenschaft

The Cluster of Excellence CECAD at the University of Cologne took part in the event entitled “Research for Our Health” aboard the exhibition ship “MS Wissenschaft”. From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on 24th and 25th August the floating science center opened her hatches in the historic city center of Cologne, offering visitors fascinating glimpses into the mysteries of the human body.

“Keep the worms alive!”

The interactive exhibit “Keep the worms alive!” aroused visitor curiosity in a playful way and offered exciting insights into the workings of the body: Besides a cool animated trailer on the theme of metabolism and “Talking Heads” – short video statements by five leading CECAD scientists - CECAD also had an interactive game to offer:  Under the slogan “Keep the worms alive!” visitors were invited to take part in an exciting experiment as ‘managers’ of metabolism.  A short animation clip geared to a young audience gave them the crucial tips they needed to succeed.

Our body provides the basis for life, but it’s continually changing: It doesn’t stay young forever; it ages. Why do bodies age at different speeds? Why do people get ill as they get old? Scientists at CECAD are looking for answers to these questions. Apart from hereditary factors, nutrition and metabolism have an important influence on how quickly or slowly we age. Among other things, the Cluster of Excellence CECAD in Cologne is investigating the process of metabolism in order to find out what leads to aging. Research is not usually carried out directly on humans but on so-called model organisms such as threadworms, as their metabolism is astonishingly similar to ours. This helps us to understand how the critical processes might function in man and – in future – could enable us to develop treatments for certain diseases.

MS Wissenschaft

From 19th May to the end of September 2011 this exhibition ship cruised through Germany and Austria, mooring in 35 cities. The initiative “Science in Dialogue”, sponsored by BMBF, was set up by some of Germany's leading scientific research organizations. 


The game “Keep the worms alive“ could be played on board or accessed online via the website: www.young-cecad.de. Alongside the interactive exhibit further information was available - on CECAD and on how to go about becoming a research scientist.

The project was set up in close collaboration with Dr. Bernhard Schemer, Prof. Rudolf Wiesner and Dr. Thomas Wunderlich.

Project Management: Astrid Bergmeister, Head of CECAD PR and Marketing.